Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will give Mr. Ray Veal the opportunity to tender for the cleaning and caretaking facilities at Knutsford Crown court ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John M. Taylor : It is not the policy of the Lord Chancellor's Department to employ caretakers for court buildings. In accordance with Government policy of securing value for money, cleaning contracts are awarded by competitive tender and the contract for Knutsford has already been let.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement concerning the compulsory redundancy of Mr. Ray Veal, the court keeper at Knutsford Crown court.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Mr. Ray Veal is an employee of Cheshire county council and his redundancy is a direct result of the county council's decision to sell Sessions house to the Lord Chancellor's Department. Negotiations with Cheshire county council for the freehold purchase of Sessions house proceeded on the basis of full vacant possession and it was clearly understood that Cheshire county council would identify suitable alternative accommodation for Mr. and Mrs. Veal. Further, the Lord Chancellor's Department made it clear to Cheshire county council that it would not be able to use the services of Mr. Veal as a caretaker. However, in an attempt to be helpful to both the county council and Mr. and Mrs. Veal, the Government property lawyers have been instructed to investigate and conclude an appropriate occupancy agreement to enable Mr. and Mrs. Veal to remain in their present accommodation.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many applications for legal aid have been made by solicitors acting on behalf of clients suffering from tranquilliser addiction and seeking to sue drug companies in the past 10 years ; how much money has been paid to solicitors' firms over that period ; how many such cases have been concluded in a court of law ; and how many legal aid certificates have been issued, cases begun and legal aid subsequently withdrawn.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The only significant tranquilliser action to have received funding from the Legal Aid Board is the current Benzodiazepine action, for which 17,000 legal aid applications were made. These applications cover actions against the companies manufacturing the drugs together with the authorities prescribing them. The generic legal aid expenditure on all the Benzodiazepine drugs in
Column 400the litigation amounts to approximately £3 million, though further, as yet unquantified, costs have also been incurred. In view of the numbers of individual cases involved, these costs may be considerable. None of the Benzodiazepine cases has yet been concluded. A total of 13,168 legal aid certificates were issued. The position on these is constantly changing, but at present more than 7, 000 certificates have been discharged and several hundred are awaiting decisions on appeal. There have also been approximately 20 tranquilliser cases where legal aid was granted, but which were not part of the Benzodiazepine litigation. These have all been discharged and none of the cases was concluded in court.
Mr. Meacher : asked the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list each of the executive non-departmental public bodies sponsored by the Lord Chancellor's Department ; to whom these bodies are responsible ; whether the public bodies or their members in each case are subject to (a) surcharge, (b) investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner, (c) scrutiny by the National Audit Office, (d) statutory provisions for open Government, (e) performance indicators and (f) provisions under the citizens charters ; and whether the chairpersons and members of the boards of each of these bodies are required to declare an interest.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Of the executive NDPBs listed in Public Bodies 1992, the Authorised Conveyancing Practitioners Board, which is responsible to the Lord Chancellor, was established to develop competition in the provision of conveyancing services and to supervise the provision of those services by authorised practitioners. In response to a parliamentary question on 13 March the Lord Chancellor announced that, due to a lack of demand to become authorised practitioners, he was postponing implementation of those provisions of the 1990 Act necessary to allow the board to begin the process of authorisation.
Answers to specific questions :
(d) Not applicable
(e) No. The decision to postpone the authorised practitioner scheme was taken before the board's performance indicators had been finalised.
(f) Yes. The chairman and the members of the board would be required to declare an interest.
Legal Aid Board
The responses for the Legal Aid Board, which is responsible to the Lord Chancellor are as follows :
(d) Not applicable
(f) Yes. The board is shortly to publish a statement of its charter standards.
Before appointing a person to be a member of the board, the Lord Chancellor satisfies himself that the individual's financial and other interests will not prejudice his or her functions as a member of the board. The Lord Chancellor also from time to time satisfies himself as to the members continuing interests. In addition, a member must declare an interest at any time throughout their tenure
Column 401when a conflict of interest arises. The provisions governing members' interests are covered by schedule 1 of the Legal Aid Act 1988.
Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the average percentage difference in time taken for (a) roads and (b) railways between the initial consultative plan and the finally approved scheme.
Mr. Freeman : Road schemes completed in 1992-93 took on average 13.9 years to complete. We are currently looking at ways to reduce this figure and my right hon. Friend hopes to make an announcement shortly.
Applications for orders for new rail schemes are now governed by the Transport and Works Act, which came into force on 1 January 1993. We have not yet received any applications regarding railway schemes under the provisions of this Act ; it is not therefore possible to make comparisons with road schemes. The time scale between receipt of draft orders and approval would depend on the size of the scheme and the degree of controversy surrounding it.
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list all the computer consultancies employed by his Department and agencies since November 1991, the tasks for which they were engaged, and the total cost to his Department.
Mr. Norris : Since November 1991, the Department of Transport and its agencies have engaged 55 computer consultancy companies. The tasks on which they were employed range from strategic analysis to systems review. The cost of the commissions is approaching £7 million.
Mr. Miller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the M53/M56 alternative to the A550 improvement scheme was evaluated before or after the public consultation exercise ; and if he will publish the results of the evaluation, including projected traffic flows.
Mr. Key : We do not believe that a route via the M53 and M56 presents a viable alternative. Although the question of this alternative was considered carefully prior to the preferred route announcement, no detailed evaluation is available.
Mr. Miller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment will be made of the traffic generated as a result of stages 1 and 2 of the A550 improvement scheme in considering whether to proceed with stage 3.
Mr. Key : This scheme is now being progressed in two stages. The technical appraisal for stage 2 (Ledsham to the M53) makes allowance for any additional traffic using the route as a result of the stage 1 improvement to the south.
Column 402represented typical road usage for the purposes of photographs included in consultation on the A550 road improvement scheme.
Mr. Key : The photograph was used as an illustration of congestion that can occur. The A550 improvements have been evaluated against forecast annual average daily traffic flows in the design year 2012.
Mr. Miller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason a question asking for views on whether a new road was required did not form part of the public consultation for the A550 improvement scheme.
Mr. Miller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will provide full details of the rail schemes assessed as an alternative to the A550 improvement scheme, including the routes assessed, their cost, and the projected changes in rail traffic associated with each alternative.
Mr. Freeman : No rail schemes have been assessed as possible alternatives to the A550 improvement scheme. Rail would not be a practicable option given the alignment of existing track in the area, which does not run in parallel with the A550 to Ledsham and beyond.
Mr. Key : The increase in road fuel duties announced on 16 March is aimed at contributing toward the Government's commitment to return overall CO emissions from the United Kingdom in the year 2000 to the level recorded in 1990. By 2000, the increase in fuel duties is expected to have reduced road transport emissions of CO by about 1.5 million tonnes of carbon (mtC), roughly one-seventh of the required savings. That increase in duties will have a greater effect on fuel consumption (and thus CO ) than on traffic levels. This is because the reduction in traffic is just one of the effects likely to follow from higher fuel prices. We would also expect a variety of improvements in fuel economy to come about--for example, improved driver technique, changes in speed, choice of smaller cars and improvements in vehicle design. Under the minimum duty increases announced, the level of traffic (all motor vehicles) in 2000 would be about 500 bn vehicle km instead of the 510 bn vehicle km forecast using the mid-point of the National Road Traffic Forecasts--a 2 per cent. reduction.
Mr. Miller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 24 May, Official Report, column 418 , how many passenger miles are expected to transfer from private car to public transport as a result of the public transport initiatives described.
Mr. Freeman : It is not possible to estimate the number of passenger miles likely to transfer from private car to public transport. In the case of buses, much of the success of the measures depends on action being taken by local authorities.
Mr. Miller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the average diversion in road miles over original routes provided by trunk road bypasses of motorway or express road standard over the past five years and planned for the next five years.
Mr. Miller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish details of the public transport schemes currently being assessed for the Wirral-North Wales corridor as part of the public transport initiatives contained in his answer of 24 May, Official Report, column 418.
Mr. Freeman : Improvements to public transport will in many cases be the responsibility of the operators concerned ; but it is open to local authorities to bring forward proposals for public transport improvements in their area. The Government can assist by making resources available to local authorities where appropriate. For example, we have made £6.4 million available to Merseyside PTA and Cheshire county council for railway electrification between Hooton, Chester and Ellesmere Port ; £2.2 million to Merseyside PTA in 1993-94 for city challenge schemes some of which are in Wirral ; and £300,000 to Wirral borough council in 1993- 94 for bus priority measures. Local authorities have been invited to put forward further proposals in their transport policies and programmes.
Mr. Lester : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to publish details of the highway engineering measures his Department is taking to achieve the trunk road share of the national target of reducing road accident casualties by one third by the year 2000.
Mr. Key : I am arranging for copies of the departmental trunk road safety plan to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament, along with copies of the regional safety plans that are separately produced in the Department's regional offices. These plans detail the many actions and resources the Department is putting into highway engineering measures to reduce accident casualties on trunk roads. I am pleased to say that these measures are reducing deaths and injuries and are working towards meeting our share of the national target.
Mr. Harvey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received objecting to (a) the yellow route and (b) the grey route for the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down improvement scheme.
Mr. Norris : I have received various representations supportng or opposing the yellow route and grey route options for this improvement scheme near Stonehenge. We are now considering responses to the recent public consultation.
Mr. Norris : The Department did not offer at the recent public consultation an option for a scheme in cutting along the line of the present A303 as we considered such an option to be unacceptable environmentally, given the importance of Stonehenge. No estimate of cost is available, comparable with those of options offered.
Mr. Harvey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what response he is giving to the National Trust's request for more information on alternative routes for the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down improvement scheme ; and if he will make a statement about the effect of his plans of the inalienability of National Trust land involved.
Mr. Norris : The Department is seeking clarification of what further information the National Trust requires. One main purpose of both the Department's consultation options near Stonehenge is to improve conditions for Stonehenge and its surrounding monuments. The tenure of National Trust land and the terms on which it might be made available are matters for the National Trust.
Sir Michael Neubert : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the total expenditure incurred on the Jubilee line extension project to date ; what obstacles now remain before the principal construction works can be started ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris : Around £180 million. Leaving aside the exit from administration of the Olympia and York Company, before we can give authorisation for construction work to begin the precise terms of the funding agreement between London Underground Limited and London Transport and the parties involved with the financing of Canary wharf must be satisfactorily settled.
Column 405(2) what discussions he has held with the Civil Aviation Authority about the quality of cabin air on board British airlines ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris : The European joint aviation authorities' airworthiness standards include requirements for minimum fresh air ventilation flows expressed in terms of fresh air quantity per minute per person. These minimum flows must be provided in the event of a failure in the air supply system ; normal flow rates would be appreciably higher. The Civil Aviation Authority sees no reason to review these standards.
Sir Keith Speed : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the advice he has received from the merchant banker retained by his Department about finance for the channel tunnel rail link.
Mr. Freeman : The independent review of Union Railways' work on the rail link was published in March 1993. We shall make an announcement in due course on the Government's conclusion following the consultation on private sector involvement, taking into account the advice provided by Samuel Montagu.
Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for representatives of the work force of DVOIT Swansea to meet each of the five bidders in the privatisation process before a final choice has been made by his Department.
Mr. Key : Representatives of the DVOIT staff have been offered the opportunity of meeting the prospective purchasers of the agency once a shortlist has been selected. This stage is likely to be reached in the second half of August.
Vehicle licences are issued by 4,000 of the 20,000 post offices in Great Britain. For this service the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)-- effectively the taxpayer--pays a substantial sum of money to Post Office Counters Ltd. (POCL). Any increase in the number of licence-issuing post offices would increase the cost of collection without increasing the overall sum paid into the Exchequer.
Column 406during (a) 1992 and (b) 1993 to the latest convenient date, by individual prison establishment ; what was the average daily population of persons so detained in each of those years ; what was the average length of time spent in detention by persons so detained in each of those years ; and whether he will give a breakdown by nationality of persons so detained for each of those years.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The number of detainees received into Prison Service establishments in England and Wales under the Immigration Act 1971 is given by establishment of initial reception in table 1 for the first half of 1992. Information for receptions for the second half of 1992 and for 1993 is not yet available.
The average population in 1992, including persons originally received for a criminal offence, was 227. The average for January to May in 1993 is 382. A breakdown of the prison population by nationality is given for June 1992 and May 1993 in table 2. The average period of detention for detainees released in the first half of 1992 is provisionally estimated as nearly 12 weeks. No later information for discharges is yet available.
Table 1 Receptions of persons detained under the Immigration Act 1971 into Prison Service establishments in England and Wales: by establishment 1 January to 30 June 1992 Establishment |Number of |persons<1><2> ---------------------------------------------------- Remand centres Brinsford |2 Dorchester |8 Exeter |1 Feltham |13 Glen Parva |1 Haslar |179 Low Newton |3 Moorland |1 Local prisons Bedford |3 Belmarsh |7 Birmingham |55 Bristol |8 Brixton |4 Bullingdon |4 Canterbury |14 Dorchester |9 Durham |2 Exeter |12 Elmley |1 Gloucester |3 Holloway |23 Hull |6 Leeds |13 Leicester |15 Lewis |8 Lincoln |5 Liverpool |4 Norwich |3 Pentonville |158 Preston |17 Pucklechurch |1 Shrewsbury |2 Winchester |2 Wormwood Scrubs |11 Closed training prisons Full Sutton |1 |--- All establishments |599 <1>The figures are those recorded centrally and are approximate: detailed checking of individual cases would involve disproportionate cost. <2>Provisional figures.
Table 2 Population of persons detained under the Immigration Act 1971 in Prison Service establishments in England and Wales on 30 June 1992 and 31 May 1993: by nationality Nationality Number of persons<1><2> |30 June 1992|31 May 1993 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Afghanistan |- |1 Algeria |8 |15 Angola |7 |13 Argentina |- |1 Ascension Islands |- |1 Australia |1 |- Bangladesh |5 |13 Belgium |- |1 Brazil |- |1 Canada |1 |2 Cape Verde |- |1 Central African Republic |- |2 Chile |1 |1 China |2 |5 Colombia |1 |3 Congo |1 |- Cyprus |2 |3 Egypt |1 |3 Ecuador |- |1 France |3 |6 Gambia |1 |1 Germany |- |3 Ghana |7 |28 Guyana |1 |3 Hong Kong |1 |1 Hungary |1 |1 India |43 |99 Indonesia |- |1 Irish Republic |3 |1 Israel |2 |2 Italy |- |1 Ivory Coast |1 |4 Iran |2 |2 Jamaica |10 |20 Jordan |- |1 Kenya |1 |4 Lebanon |6 |2 Liberia |3 |5 Libya |- |1 Malaysia |1 |1 Morocco |3 |3 Mauritius |1 |1 Mexico |- |1 Namibia |1 |- Netherlands |2 |1 Nepal |1 |- New Zealand |- |1 Nicaragua |1 |1 Niger |1 |- Nigeria |36 |54 Pakistan |12 |14 Peru |- |3 Philippines |1 |- Poland |- |2 Portugal |1 |- Romania |- |9 Saudi Arabia |1 |- Sierra Leone |1 |5 Somalia |- |1 South Africa |2 |1 Spain |- |1 Sri Lanka |1 |2 St. Lanka |- |1 St. Vincent and Grenadines |1 |- Sudan |1 |2 Tanzania |- |3 Trinidad and Tobago |1 |- Turkey |9 |24 Uganda |1 |2 United States of America |3 |3 Vietnam |1 |- Yugoslavia |1 |1 Zambia |1 |1 Zaire |25 |17 Zimbabwe |- |1 Nationality not recorded |42 |30 Refusal |1 |2 |--- |--- All establishments |268 |441 <1>The figures are those recorded centrally and are approximate: detailed checking of individual case would involve disproportionate cost. <2>Provisional figures.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many overseas doctors have been issued with notices to leave the country ; how many of them are waiting for their appeals to be heard ; and what are the reasons for asking them to leave.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department has any plans to relax the current rules concerning the effect on local authorities' civil defence grant aid allocations of authorities' success in obtaining income from emergency planning activities.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list (a) the bail hostels and (b) the combined probation and bail hostels in England and Wales at present ; how many places there are in each hostel ; and how many additional places the Government aims to provide (i) in each of these hostels and (ii) elsewhere by 1995.
Bail hostels in England and Wales in 1993 Probation Area |Hostel |Beds ------------------------------------------------------------------- Cheshire |Bunbury House |22 Cheshire |Linden Bank |22 Cleveland |South Bank |24 Devon |Dudley Centre |22 Greater Manchester |Chorlton Hostel|27 Gloucestershire |Ryecroft |16 Hampshire |Dickson House |28 Hampshire |Southampton |22 Kent |Dover Bail |18 Lancashire |Blackburn |18 Leicestershire |Howard House |20 London Inner |Canadian Avenue|23 London Inner |Kelley House |28 London Inner |Tulse Hill |27 London Middlesex |Corfton Road |20 London South West |Kew |14 Merseyside |Merseybank |28 North Wales |Ty Newydd |12 Northumbria |Cuthbert House |22 Northumbria |Pennywell |22 Oxfordshire |Clarks House |27 Staffordshire |Lichfield Road |20 West Glamorgan |Emroch House |15 West Midlands |Marshall House |22 West Midlands |Stonnall Road |12 West Midlands |Sycamore Lodge |32 West Midlands |Welford |26 South Yorkshire |Town Moor |25 West Yorkshire |Howden House |27 West Yorkshire |Walmer Villas |18 |Beds |659 |Hostels |30
There are currently 84 approved probation/bail hostels in England and Wales as listed below :
Probation/bail hostels in England and Wales 1993 Probation Area |Hostel |Beds ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Avon |Ashley House |20 Avon |Brigstocke Road |29 Avon |Bridge House |15 Bedfordshire |Bedford |25 Bedfordshire |Napier Road |23 Berkshire |Elizabeth Fry |20 Berkshire |Manor Lodge |27 Berkshire |St. Leonards |23 Berkshire |Wellesley House |18 Buckinghamshire |Milton Keynes |16 Cambridgeshire |Peterborough |26 Cheshire |Bewsey Street |20 Cleveland |The Crescent |25 Cornwall |Meneghy House |18 Cumbria |Bowling Green |24 Derbyshire |Burdett Lodge |25 Devon |Lawson House |20 Dorset |Bournemouth |25 Dorset |Weston |27 Durham |Fir Tree Grange |28 East Sussex |Brighton |15 Essex |Basildon |32 Essex |Windyridge |30 Greater Manchester |Bradshaw |27 Greater Manchester |Hopwood |18 Greater Manchester |Ascot House |22 Greater Manchester |St. Josephs |29 Greater Manchester |Wilton Place |29 Greater Manchester |Withington Road |3 House Lancashire |Hoole House |24 Leicestershire |Charnwood House |18 Leicestershire |Kirk Lodge |35 Lincolnshire |Wordsworth House|28 London Inner |Bedford/Shenley |30 London Inner |Camden House |29 London Inner |Ellison House |25 London Inner |KPH |19 London Inner |St. Edmunds |25 London Inner |St. Mungo |25 London Inner |St. Vincents |24 London Inner |West Park |22 London Middlesex |Seafield Lodge |14 London North East |Westbourne House|40 London South East |Beckenham Road |20 Merseyside |Adelaide House |22 Merseyside |Canning House |27 Merseyside |Southwood |23 North Wales |Plas-y-wern |12 Norfolk |John Boag House |29 Northants |Bridgewood |23 Northants |Stone House |24 Northumbria |Ozanam House |27 Northumbria |St. Christophers|22 Nottinghamshire |Astral Grove |15 Nottinghamshire |Southwell House |16 Nottinghamshire |Trent House |22 Oxfordshire |Abingdon Road |22 South Glamorgan |Mandeville House|26 Somerset |Glogan House |16 Staffordshire |Wenger House |42 Suffolk |Lightfoot House |22 Suffolk |The Cottage |18 Surrey |St. Catherines |19 West Midlands |Bilston |15 West Midlands |Carpenter House |16 West Midlands |Crowley House |18 West Midlands |Stoke Green |22 Warwickshire |Kenilworth Road |18 Warwickshire |McIntyre House |18 South Yorkshire |Centre 45 |36 South Yorkshire |Norfolk Park |49 South Yorkshire |Rookwood |37 West Yorkshire |Albion Street |24 West Yorkshire |Cardigan House |23 West Yorkshire |Elm Bank |17 West Yorkshire |Ripon House |17 West Yorkshire |St. Johns House |28 |Beds |1,993 |Hostels |84
The approved hostel expansion programme aims to provide 1,365 additional places between April 1988 and March 1996. Of these, 914 are already on stream and are included in the tables. The remaining places have been provisionally allocated, but until the appropriate properties or sites are identified the precise numbers cannot be determined.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many copies of the executive summary of the Sheehy report on police responsibilities and rewards have been produced ; to whom they have been circulated ; and at what total cost.
Mr. Charles Wardle : A total of 170,000 copies of the executive summary of the Sheehy report on police responsibilities and rewards were produced. A copy was circulated by the inquiry to every police officer in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland ; to the clerk to the police authority for each force in the United Kingdom ; and to the organisations and individuals who gave oral evidence to the inquiry. The cost of production and distribution was £25,965.
Column 411Drive for Youth, Fairbridge and other similar charitable organisations specialising in diverting young people from crime ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : A number of local diversionary projects run by charitable organisations, including Fairbridge, receive Home Office funding. Those projects are therefore subject to monitoring and evaluation.
|1990 |1991 |1992 ------------------------------- Male |1,693|1,968|2,008 Female |470 |601 |568
The figures include those who made a supervised or voluntary departure having been served with a notice of the intention to deport them, as well as those who were the subject of a deportation order.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The most recent assessment of net Exchequer costs for the personal reader service was published in the consultative document "Evaluation of Special Schemes for People with Disabilities : Summary Paper" in November 1990. The figures are shown in the following table :
|Assessment -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gross costs (1988-89) (£000s) |387 Number helped (1988-89) |472 Gross cost per person helped (£s) |820 Estimated range of costs to Exchequer (£000s) |370-510 Estimated range of net costs per person helped (£s) |700-1,000